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Home care technology pilot launches to reduce avoidable hospital visits

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A new pilot scheme has launched to in Stoke-on-Trent to understand how technology can support people in their own homes and avoid unnecessary trips to hospital.

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces to trial the use of home-based sensors in the homes of the city’s most vulnerable patients.

The first 25 patients have now signed up to the MySense trial, which aims to use assistive technology to monitor early changes in health and behaviour to ensure that the right support can be put in place early.

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This is expected to enable patients to continue to live independently at home and reduce the levels of attendances into A&E and further hospital admissions at Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital, Stafford.

MySense is a set of sensors placed in each of the patients’ homes to monitor their movements and routines. The data is recorded and sent to a dashboard monitored by the High Intensity Users Team to look for patterns, changes and areas of concern which could result in an admission to hospital.

Should an intervention be required, the High Intensity Users Team will be in contact with ‘key responders’, such as family members, the patient’s GP, and other health and care professionals that maybe already involved or the Community Rapid Intervention Service (CRIS).

Helen Ashley, director of Strategy at University Hospitals of North Midlands, said: “The aim is to identify, intervene and resolve any issues or challenges the patients are experiencing to reduce the need for reliance on hospital care and associated risks, maintaining health and well-being, while promoting independence and choice for patients.”

Working with residents, Stoke-on-Trent City Council have installed sensors in discrete places such as in the toilet, on the kettle, in the living area and on the patient’s mattress. The patient is also asked to wear a wristband at all times to monitor heart rate. 

Councillor Ally Simcock, cabinet member for adult social care and health care at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to support this scheme. The sensors are useful, innovative tools that will hopefully help patients avoid being admitted into our hospitals unnecessarily, while also helping them to feel reassured and safe in their own homes. This is a great example of collaborative working across health and social care to support the health and well-being of our residents.”

Tags : assistive technologyMySensepilot
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke